The Housewares Innovation Awards 2020, which took place last night at the NCC in Birmingham was a roaring success with hundreds of the most influential housewares professionals gathered to award innovation, recognise formidable achievements from across the sector and to celebrate the incredible success of the past year.
Organised by the publishers of Housewares Magazine, Datateam Business Media and their digital partner housewareslive.net, in conjunction with Spring Fair, the Housewares Innovation Awards champions excellence and awards talent from across the housewares sector. Hosted by comedian Tom Ward, with Alan Dedicoat providing the voiceover in his instantly recognisable style, the glitzy awards ceremony was a chance for celebration.
This year, the awards scheme saw the introduction of some exciting new changes. In order to reflect the ever evolving face of the sector and the rise of the ethical consumer, The Sustainable Innovation Award was added to the fold in order to recognise company's efforts to lessen their environmental impact. In addition, for the first time ever two categories, Best Salesperson and Service Award: Supplier, were opened up to an online industry vote, where professionals from across the industry were encouraged to have their say in determining the winners.
The tone for the evening, which was one of excitement and an appreciation of the dedication and commitment of the housewares industry was set by Alison Farrell, Event and Sales Manager, saying: I am delighted to have seen this wonderful industry continue to flourish over the last twelve months. During the course of the 2020 scheme, I've been amazed by the outstanding products you've continued to develop, the creativity of the retailers and the passion that you hold for all things housewares. After hilarious comedy from host Tom Ward and a delicious three course meal, the wine was flowing and the anticipation was palpable as the lights dimmed and the big reveal began in earnest.
The awards kicked off with Best Retail Newcomer, sponsored by Bira. Chef's Ware of Hastings was highly commended, but ultimately Frankie and Johnny's Cookshop clinched the first prize of the evening. Next up, The Bakeware Innovation Award, sponsored by Lakeland, was won by Tefal Cake Factor while KitchenCraft's Masterclass Space Staking 7-Piece Set received highly commended.
In the next award, Best Family Business, Barnitts secured highly commended, but it was Harts of Stur who took top prize. The second product award of the evening, The Food Preparation Innovation Award saw five finalists in the running, but JWPs Glass Jars by Luigi Bormioli was the winner.
The awards then moved on to Best Independent Cookshop sponsored by Le Creuset. Hargreaves and Sons were highly commended, but it was Woodbridge Kitchen Company who secured the trophy. Best In-Store Cookery/Cookery demo was up next, Harts of Stur took another accolade after being announced highly commended, but it was Potters Cookshop who clinched the trophy. Up next was the Kitchenware Innovation Award, Dexam's No Probllama Range was highly commended, but ultimately, Falcon's Bake-O-Glide induction Hob Cover took top prize.
The English Tableware Company were the sponsors of the next award, Best Independent Garden Retailer, which saw Barton grange Garden Centre highly commended but Bents Garden and Home were the winners.
The Tabletop Innovation Award was up next, with Dexam clinching their second highly commended of the evening with the Cork Trivets Fish, but the winner was Captive Brands' Artisan Street Tableware Collection. Next on the agenda was Best Independent Department Store, with entrants truly spanning the length and breadth of the UK, from Guernsey to Clitheroe, Manchester to Wales. Leekes took home the trophy and Bakers and Larners were highly commended.
The Cookware Innovation Award sponsored by Lakeland, was the only award to see two highly commended entries: DKB Households Zyliss Superior Ceramic Cookware and RKWs Tower Ice Diamond Cookware, but ultimately Princess's Multi-Cook Pure, was the winner. Best Multiple Garden Retailer, sponsored by Ashley Thomas was up next, with Dobbies taking first prize, while Blue Diamond Garden and Living Centres clinched highly commended.
Small Electricals Innovation Awards marked the halfway point in the ceremony, with Meat It Smart Cooking Probe receiving highly commended, while IXEO Garment/Clothes Steamer by Tefal took home the trophy. Best Multiple Housewares Retailer saw entries from some of the best known brands in the business. Lords at Home was highly commended, but ultimately, The Range took the trophy.
Packaging Innovation Award sponsored by Spring Fair, was next on the agenda. Sara Miller London, Portmeirion Tahiti Collection, took highly commended, but it was T&G Woodware's Ocean Organic Soap and Soap Dishes which took the ultimate accolade. Next up was Best Online Retailer, sponsored by Spring Fair. Wayfair took the title, while Online Kitchenware received highly commended.
Best Housewares Retail Website sponsored by Tower followed next. Harts Of Stur took their third highly commended of the evening, with Art of Living Cookshop clinching the win. A new introduction for the 2020 awards, the inaugural winner of the Sustainable Innovation Award was clinched by The Beeswax Wrap Company, with Auteur Limited Hip SqueakyCleanStraw, receiving highly commended in this hotly contested category.
What More UK Limited sponsored Best Wholesaler which saw Stax Trade Centres clinch highly commended, but Home Hardware Southwest won the trophy. Best Window display was up next, Rye Cookshop came highly commended but The Kitchen Range Cookshop took the top spot.
Next on the agenda: Best Staff Training Award. Lakeland were highly commended, but ultimately Trevor Mottram took first prize. Best Customer Experience saw Lakeland receive highly commended for the second time, but The Kitchen Range Cookshop was the ultimate winner.
Open to an industry vote for the first time ever, Service Award: Supplier was a hotly contested award with six finalists in the running. What More UK Limited secured the trophy, while Dexam was highly commended. Best Retail Buyer, sponsored by Denby was next up on the agenda David Conduit was highly commended, but Sarah Wood of Trevor Mottram was the overall winner. Also opened to an industry vote, the Best Housewares Salesperson, sponsored by BHETA, had six finalists in contention and competition was stiff. Stephen Fennel of Pyrex was highly commended, but Peter Ellis of What More UK Limited took home the trophy.
The final two awards of the evening, The Trading Achievement Award and Kitchen Hero Award are designed to celebrate inspiring and exceptional members of the housewares industry and to recognise their outstanding contributions to the trade.
A new introduction for this year on request of the judges, the inaugural winner of the Trading Achievement Award was Toni Mclellan, who after forty years of successful trading in Leamington Spa is now retiring. Last, but by no means least, was the Kitchen Hero Award, sponsored by Home Hardware. Instrumental in the founding of Help for Heroes and a champion of charity, not to mention his lifelong commitment to Dexam, the winner of the Kitchen Hero Award was Roger Morgan-Grenville.
The evening concluded with the charity fundraiser, sponsored by Blue Diamond. A truly interactive game of Heads and Tails, which got the whole room on its feet, offered professionals not only the chance to give back to a phenomenal charity, but also the opportunity to win Club Wembley tickets and a bottle of bubbly! The grand total raised for the Rainy Day Trust will be announced on the Housewares Industry Awards shortly.
Of course, this fantastic event would not be possible without the support of our incredible sponsors: Spring Fair, Ashley Thomas, Beaumont, Bira, BHETA, Blue Diamond, Denby, The English Tableware Company, Home Hardware, Lakeland, Le Creuset, Mastrad, Tower, T&G Woodware and What More UK Ltd. Thank you for all of your generous support.
Thank you very much for coming, we hope to see you all again next year!
To find out more about the awards or to view the full gallery of the event, visit www.housewaresinnovationawards.co.uk